Buffalo Bills great Andre Reed is among 25 semifinalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall on Wednesday night released the results of voting that brought a preliminary list of 126 down to 25. The 25 semifinalists will be narrowed to a list of 15 finalists in early January. Reed has been one of the 15 modern-era finalists for induction seven years in a row.
Besides Reed, the semifinalists include: kicker Morten Andersen; safeties Steve Atwater and John Lynch; running backs Jerome Bettis, Roger Craig and Terrell Davis; linebackers Derrick Brooks, Kevin Greene and Karl Mecklenburg; receivers Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison; coaches Don Coryell, Tony Dungy and Jimmy Johnson; owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.; defensive ends Charles Haley and Michael Strahan; tackles Joe Jacoby and Walter Jones; guards Will Shields and Steve Wisniewski; commissioner Paul Tagliabue; cornerback Aeneas Williams; and General Manager George Young.
Reed holds most of Buffalo’s team receiving records, earned in a Bills career that spanned from 1985 to 1999. Reed finished his career with 951 catches, 13,198 receiving yards and 88 touchdowns. In 21 postseason games, Reed caught 85 passes for 1,229 yards and nine touchdowns. He made seven Pro Bowls.
The Bills filled the hole on their 53-man roster Wednesday by signing offensive lineman J.J. Unga off the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad.
Unga, 6-foot-5, 320-pounds, is a 26-year-old rookie. He signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in April. He played the previous two seasons at Midwestern State in Texas, making 10 starts.
“They had him at tackle, but we’re moving him inside to play guard,” Bills coach Doug Marrone said.
“I think what we like to do is build a bigger team,” Marrone said. “My philosophy has always been it’s a big man’s game. When we have the opportunity to better ourselves, we have to do that no matter what time of year it is. That’s what we’re trying to do; we’re trying to get bigger.”
Unga takes the spot of cornerback Justin Rogers, released Tuesday.
The Bills players worked out at One Bills Drive on Wednesday morning and dispersed for their bye week. They are off until Monday.
“The last couple days we really concentrated on just getting our players, for lack of a better term, flushed out, meaning the soreness,” Marrone said. “We did a lot of weight training, pushed them hard in the weight room, pushed them hard running.”
The Bills coaches have done much of their game-plan preparation for the Atlanta Falcons, who the Bills face on Dec. 1. Atlanta plays New Orleans tonight.
“As coaches we were able to start getting the game plans ready as best we can, waiting for the one game obviously,” Marrone said. “I’m happy to say though, if we were playing this week, we’d have everybody healthy.”